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Investors turn heat on Big Oil ahead of UN climate summit

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Investors turn heat on Big Oil ahead of UN climate summit

Investors managing $15 trillion in assets turned up the heat on oil and gas sector on Wednesday ahead of a United Nations summit in New York aimed at accelerating efforts to fight climate change.

Energy companies are on the front line of the global transition to a low-carbon economy, with investors potentially on the hook for hefty losses if the companies do not overhaul their business models in time.

In its most detailed analysis of the energy sector, the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI) said 31 out of 109 energy firms were aligned with commitments governments have so far made under the 2015 Paris Agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

However, of the 50 oil and gas companies assessed, just two – Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc – were aligned with existing national emissions targets. The remaining 29 companies on track to meet such commitments were all electric utilities.

“We, as a major institutional investor, are concerned that transition risk – the large and growing gap between government targets and company ambitions – is a major source of investment risk,” said Helena Viñes Fiestas, global head of stewardship and policy at BNP Paribas Asset Management.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wants governments to make more ambitious pledges to cut emissions at the U.N. summit on Monday, which he convened to boost the Paris Agreement ahead of a crucial implementation phase next year.

Current pledges by governments to cut emissions are nowhere near enough to meet the Paris target of keeping the rise in average global temperatures to well below two degrees Celsius, with a goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

That means that some companies’ targets can bring them in line with existing national plans under the Paris Agreement, but remain far from adequate to avert the worst of the natural disasters and economic damage forecast for a warming world.

TPI, which includes major pension funds and asset owners, said none of the oil and gas companies it assessed are doing enough to align their businesses with the changes needed to meet the Paris temperature targets.

The findings echoed a report published this month by financial think-tank Carbon Tracker, which found that big oil companies had approved $50 billion of projects since last year that will not be viable if governments implement the Paris deal.

By contrast, TPI found that nearly half of the utility companies are aligned with national commitments already made under the Paris Agreement, and more than 20% are on target to meet a temperature rise of below 2 degrees Celsius, the TPI said.

That is partly because some utilities have been quicker to pivot their business models toward renewable energy than oil and gas companies, reports Reuters.

“There is no doubt that oil and gas companies are in a difficult position in navigating the transition to a low carbon economy,” Euan Stirling, global head of stewardship and ESG investing at Aberdeen Standard Investments.

“That makes it all the more important that we have at least some sector constituents who are starting to respond to the climate crisis by repositioning their businesses from the top down in the same way that many power generators have.”

The TPI is one of several investor initiatives launched in recent years aimed at helping boost the quality and effectiveness of investor engagement with companies on climate. Among its other 45 signatories are firms including Legal & General Investment Management and U.S. pension scheme CaLPERs.

“We believe that investors should use their voice to hold top management of investee companies accountable for incorporating climate-related issues in their corporate strategy,” Carola van Lamoen, head of active ownership at Dutch asset manager Robeco.

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Business

Ikeja Electric: Why we commissioned franchise centres

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Ikeja Electric: Why we commissioned franchise centres

Ikeja Electric Plc (IE) at the weekend declared that it commissioned franchise centres at six major towns under its coverage area for spot on resolution of growing complaints from customers.

“The areas are Olowora, Ikosi,  Arepo, Bariga, Ketu and Ogudu, and the centres are commissioned there as part of strategy to extend its customer footprint and provide ease of access to services,” the company said in a statement at the weekend

“The Ikeja Electric Franchise project, a business strategy aimed at facilitating improved engagements and customer experience for spot on resolution of complaints, in partnership with its corporate partners will take-off at six (6) different locations within the Shomolu Business Unit network,” the company added.

In addition, the project, IE continued, would further be extended across the company’s network coverage area, and will also assist in creating employment opportunities for Nigerians.

It quoted its Chief Operating Officer, Mrs. Folake Soetan, as saying that the new move had advantages of the franchising strategy. IE maintained that the commissioned franchises would increase the Ikeja Electric brand visibility and also cater to the increasing customer base across the business unit as well as serve as data gathering centers for its customers.

“Ikeja Electric will work closely with the franchisees to ensure the standards set by the company to provide excellent customer service and satisfaction is maintained by the franchisees” Soetan was quoted by the statement to have maintained.

“Soetan also noted that the strategy is a veritable model for creating employment opportunities in line with the company’s support for nation building, which ultimately translates to economic prosperity,” the statement read.

“We are also passionately positioning the company in providing corporate support to fulfil the government’s aspiration towards creating employment opportunities and this we believe is in line with our social responsibilities as a corporate entity,”the IE boss was said to have explained.

The deployment of the franchise connect touch points is phased, beginning with Shomolu Business Unit and to be replicated across the other business units.

The centres are positioned to provide customer services accessible to Ikeja Electric customers and also generate employment opportunities.

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Business

Tanker drivers: Our fears, concerns on planned toll gates

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Tanker drivers: Our fears, concerns on planned toll gates

Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) at the weekend expressed fears and concerns over plan by Federal Government to reintroduce toll gates on major interstate roads across the country.

Lagos State Chairman of PTD branch of National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) workers, Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, who stated this in an interview with New Telegraph, tasked government to block corruption that led it to scrap the toll gates during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Korodo, who stated that there was nothing wrong in the plan to reintroduce toll gates, expressed concerns over the state of roads government plans to mount toll gates on.

“I believe that they will not mount toll gates on bad roads,” he said, noting that “government should reinvest funds from the ventures on roads.”

The union, which Korodo is a chieftain, has not taken an official position “but as an investor, who has investments in haulage business,” he said, “I think this move is a welcome development provided the government blocks the loopholes of corruption and reinvest the money realised on the roads.

“We all know that every government in advanced countries of the world has toll gates. We did have this same toll gate before but it was scrapped because of corruption.

“Let us be assured that this will not happen again with this new efforts and I believe everyone including all motorists should support the government provided this will ensure better road infrastructure in the country.”

Stating that his belief that the government would not turn around and mount toll gates on bad roads, Korodo said: “They should also provide lay backs as well as resting infratsructure on the road for our members and all other motorists who usually embark on long journey.”

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Oil benchmark: Hurdles ahead of N10.729trn budget

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Oil benchmark: Hurdles ahead of N10.729trn budget

By jerking up next year budget to N10.729 trillion, the National Assembly has, together with the executive arm of government, created serious impediments and pressure for oil and its benchmark. Adeola Yusuf reports

 

All things being equal, Nigeria has set out to produce not less than 2.18 million barrels of crude oil daily in the entire 365 days of 2020. The country also expects that the product will not sell below $57 per barrel. All these are contained in a document from the National Assembly, a legislative arm that felt that the over N9 trillion budget earlier proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari for the 2020 was not enough. The budget, to the legislators deserved to be jerked up, which is exactly what it did.

The deal

The legislature on Thursday, October 3, 2019, increased the value of the country’s 2020 budget outline to N10.729 trillion ($35 billion) based on expectations of higher oil prices.

The legislature passed a medium-term expenditure framework that increased the anticipated oil price to $57 per barrel from a previous $55 per barrel. That pushed the budget up to N10.002 trillion.

The background

The finance minister had previously revised the expected oil price down from $60 per barrel to cushion against supply shocks.

The framework passed on Thursday also pegged oil production at 2.18 million barrels per day (bpd). While Nigeria is currently producing at roughly that level, it had pledged to meet an OPEC cap on crude oil of 1.685 million bpd.

From executive with love

The document is a plan Nigeria uses to prepare its annual budget. The finance minister submits the framework to the legislature, which must then approve it.

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to present a final budget proposal to the legislature today, Tuesday, October 8, 2019.

A blast from the past

At the moment, the lawmakers are in cold war with certain ministries, department, agencies and parastatls on what they called “discriminatory implementation of capital projects accommodated in the 2019 budget.” This is threatening the current cordial relationship between the Senate and the Presidency.

Many MDAs, which were alleged to implement past and present capital projects selectively, have already been marked for thorough parliamentary reprimand during the processing of the 2020 budget, which will begin after the official presentation of the budget by President Muhammadu Buhari, today.

The Senate leadership, it was learnt, had quietly charged all its standing committees that have oversight responsibilities on the MDAs to ensure that before going into the details of the 2020 budget proposals of MDAs, a comprehensive investigation of the performance of their 2019 budget should be conducted. A total of N2.094 trillion was appropriated for capital projects in the current 2019 budget.

The impediments, bickering

For Nigeria to realise this target, it must unfailingly, on a daily basis, be producing 1.8 million barrels and the oil must sell at $57per barrel or above that benchmark.

Unfortunately for Nigeria, it cannot solely determine oil price. The stability enjoyed by the country in production is also determined by the relative peace in Niger Delta.

Aside this, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) also helps in determining what volume of crude is profitable to produce and sell to the global market.

The inability of the country to determine all these, rolled into one, will put it under intense pressure on the increase of the revenue for the budget to N10.729 trillion.

The 8th National Assembly, it must also be emphasised, had running battles with the executive arm over the latter’s failure to comply with provisions of the Appropriation Acts with regard to capital projects.

But Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, since his election on June 11, 2019, has continued to insist that the 9th National Assembly would do everything possible to fully cooperate with the executive arm of government so as to achieve the “next level” agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.

Some senators are bitter that some MDAs hid behind the desire of the leadership of the National Assembly to engage in selective implementation of capital projects.

Arising from a “gentleman agreement” reached between the executive and the National Assembly since the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2004, the sum of N100 billion had always been set aside for constituency projects or zonal intervention projects.

A principal officer in the Senate from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), who pleaded anonymity, was quoted to have explained the alleged true meaning of the gentleman agreement in constituency projects.

“Lawmakers don’t collect these funds. The money is not meant for us, but for the projects that we identify in the interest of our people.

“We select from a list of available options usually presented by the executives. It is the same executive that determines the contractors to execute the project. All we do is monitor the projects in our various constituencies,” a report by the Guardian showed.

A promise of collaboration

Promising to accelerate work on the 2020 budget proposal expected to be presented to a joint session of NASS today, lawmakers, however, hinted that things would not be smooth for heads of MDAs found guilty of such discriminatory execution of constituency projects.

“Look, there is no way we can keep working and passing budgets annually, but having issues of poor implementation. It is particularly worrisome when the money is there and some projects are deliberately ignored in the process of execution. This should not be allowed to continue,” another legislator was quoted to have said.

Confirming the Senate’s resolve on the issue, its spokesman, Adedayo Adeyeye, stated that the Senate had resolved to do everything within the law to compel MDAs to turn up and answer questions on budget implementation.

“We are resolute about that; once the president lays that budget before us, all MDAs must suspend whatever they may be doing to come and defend their budgets. I don’t think any MDAs will dare make that mistake of delaying their budget defense,” he said.

The event, starting point

President Buhari would be presenting the 2020 appropriations bill to the National Assembly today, and as a tradition, the president would be addressing a joint sitting of both Senate and House of Assembly.

Senate spokesman, Adeyeye, who said this while speaking to journalists at the National Assembly on Thursday, October 3, 2019, maintained that MDAs should be ready to defend their individual budget.

Earlier, the National Assembly Joint Committee on Finance had passed the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Paper, a week after it was submitted to the Legislature by the Executive arm.

Adeyeye expressed optimism that the 2020 appropriation bill would be passed by the National Assembly before Christmas break.

The Senate president had assured Nigerians that the National Assembly would work to ensure that the country returns to the January-December budget circle.

Last line

Government is aware of impediments to its budget, and its ability or inability to address these impediments will greatly determine the success or failure of the budget.

The whole process of increasing the budget to N10.729 trillion  will amount to building castle in the air if, at the end of the day, the country is not able to produce 2.18 million barrels daily and the commodity is not able to sell at $57 per barrel in 2020.

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Business

Snag as global oil industry’s job losses hit 500,000

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Snag as global oil industry’s job losses hit 500,000

The global oil industry job loss has hit 500,000 in two years, heightening fears of further job cuts among staff of oil firms in Nigeria.

This half a million jobs were, according to Secretary-General, Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mohammad Barkindo, lost in the global oil and gas industry from 2014 to 2016.

Quoting a consulting firm, Graves & Co, the OPEC chief revealed that the challenges facing the industry were “inherently complex,” adding that no single stakeholder possesses all of the answers or knows all of the questions.

The huge loss, he said, was a result of the downturn, which befell the industry between 2014 and 2016, leading to the crash in oil prices.

He called for cooperation among stakeholders.

“I have spoken at length about this friendship between OPEC and Russia because I believe it is the answer to the question posed in the title of this session – how to avoid instability and ensure a balance of interests,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria oil industry, which had its share of the job loss, is still enveloped with apprehension.

Checks by New Telegraph showed the fear cuts across staff of both local and foreign firms operating in the country.

This came as the Federal Government said that it would consider further cut of OPEC oil quota as reference Basket price fell by 80 per cent.

The collapse in commodity prices pushed many developing countries like Nigeria to the verge of recession.

“Our industry was in dire straits,” Barkindo said.

The 2014 and 2016 downturn had pushed the oil market went into sharp disequilibrium after world supply surge of 5.5 million barrels per day significantly overtook the oil demand increase of 4.1 million barrels per day.

By July 2016, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), commercial stock overhang had reached a record high of about 403mb over the five-year industry average.

As a result, the OPEC Reference Basket price fell by an extraordinary 80 per cent between June 2014 and January 2016.

Nearly one trillion dollars in investments were either frozen or discontinued, and a record number of companies in the industry filed for bankruptcy.

“Russia and OPEC knew that in the face of this crisis, action must be taken. Hence, the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’ was signed on December 10, 2016.

This action reversed the downturn and contributed to an improvement in the health of the global economy in 2017 and 2018.”

“Together, we embarked on a remarkable journey over the last three years; one which has served the interests of producers, consumers and the global economy. We decided to further build on this cooperation through the ‘Charter of Cooperation,’ which was endorsed at the 6th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting on July 2, 2019,” he added.

The Charter is a platform to facilitate dialogue among the 24 participating countries, aiming to promote oil market stability, cooperation in technology and other areas, for the benefit of oil producers, consumers, investors and the global economy.

It is a means of enabling the long-term use of oil as a key component in the evolving global energy mix, as well as improving the environmental and efficiency credentials of oil. The ‘Charter’ is geared to promote strategies and technologies to advance the global oil industry.

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Arts & Entertainments

Foremost broadcaster, Olasope, dies at 82

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Foremost broadcaster, Olasope, dies at 82

 

 

Foremost African Broadcaster, Chief Kunle Olasope, is dead. He passed on yesterday, Sunday, at the age of 82.

Olasope was the first to cast the news on any African television in 1959 from the lawns of Government House, Agodi Ibadan on the first television station in Africa – WNTV/WNBS after the Premier of the Old Western State, Chief Obafemi Awolowo had declared it open.

He moved to join Ogun State Broadcasting Corporation, Abeokuta in 1976 where he mentored and developed many young broadcasters in various aspects of presentation including this reporter.

He joined the Radio Organisations of Nigeria, (RON) led by Ishola Folorunsho and Earnest Okonkwo to cover the National Sports Festival tagged ‘Oluyole 79’.

Olasope was a veteran presenter of EVERGREEN MUSIC where he featured his favourite Roy Chicago.

Although his daughter, Jumoke announced the passing away of her father but Efon Alaye his birth place is in greet mourning.

Former President, Ibrahim Babangida, who honoured him with the Member of the Order of the Niger (MON), had bankrolled Olasope’s health bills when he had challenges.

Olasope is one of the veterans expected at the Diamond celebration of television in Africa expected to take off in Ibadan on Tuesday.

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Energy

Oil edges higher but on track for big weekly loss

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Oil edges higher but on track for big weekly loss

Oil futures edged higher on Friday but were on track for a large weekly loss on fears that slower global economic growth will hurt fuel demand, while Saudi Arabia said it has fully restored oil output after recent attacks.

Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 rose 8 cents, or 0.1%, to $57.79 a barrel by 0138 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures rose 12 cents, or 0.2%, to $52.57 a barrel.

For the week, Brent futures were down 6.7%, marking its largest weekly loss since December, while WTI was down 6%, its biggest decline since July.

Weak U.S. services sector and jobs growth data on Thursday added to worries about global oil demand and exacerbated fears that a protracted U.S.-China trade war could push the global economy into a recession.

“Concerns about global oil demand are rising, and next week’s U.S.-China trade talks, the significant X factor, will be particularly important, given the sharp drop in the oil price over the last week,” said Stephen Innes, Asia Pacific market strategist at AxiTrader.

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman also said on Thursday the world’s top crude oil exporter has fully restored oil output after attacks on its facilities last month that knocked out more than 5% of global oil supply.

“The mood wasn’t helped by news that Saudi Arabia has managed a speedy recovery from the recent attacks,” ANZ Bank said in a note on Friday.

However, recent data showing a slowdown in U.S. shale output and drilling activity could lend some support, reports Reuters.

“Continued falls in drilling activity has seen monthly growth in U.S. shale oil output fall, from 150 thousand barrels per day (kbpd) to only 50 kbpd,” said ANZ.

“This is likely to linger well into 2020.”

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Energy

Oil edges higher but on track for big weekly loss

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on

Oil edges higher but on track for big weekly loss

Oil futures edged higher on Friday but were on track for a large weekly loss on fears that slower global economic growth will hurt fuel demand, while Saudi Arabia said it has fully restored oil output after recent attacks.

Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 rose 8 cents, or 0.1%, to $57.79 a barrel by 0138 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures rose 12 cents, or 0.2%, to $52.57 a barrel.

For the week, Brent futures were down 6.7%, marking its largest weekly loss since December, while WTI was down 6%, its biggest decline since July.

Weak U.S. services sector and jobs growth data on Thursday added to worries about global oil demand and exacerbated fears that a protracted U.S.-China trade war could push the global economy into a recession.

“Concerns about global oil demand are rising, and next week’s U.S.-China trade talks, the significant X factor, will be particularly important, given the sharp drop in the oil price over the last week,” said Stephen Innes, Asia Pacific market strategist at AxiTrader.

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman also said on Thursday the world’s top crude oil exporter has fully restored oil output after attacks on its facilities last month that knocked out more than 5% of global oil supply.

“The mood wasn’t helped by news that Saudi Arabia has managed a speedy recovery from the recent attacks,” ANZ Bank said in a note on Friday.

However, recent data showing a slowdown in U.S. shale output and drilling activity could lend some support, reports Reuters.

“Continued falls in drilling activity has seen monthly growth in U.S. shale oil output fall, from 150 thousand barrels per day (kbpd) to only 50 kbpd,” said ANZ.

“This is likely to linger well into 2020.”

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Business

Report: GenCos release 3,857 MWH of electricity to national grid

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Electricity Generation Companies (GenCos), comprising gas-fired and hydro stations, on Friday said they released an average of 3,857 megawatt-hour of electricity into the national grid on Thursday.

This is contained in a daily Energy Report by the Advisory Power Team, Office of the Vice President, and made available in Abuja on Friday.

The report revealed however that the power sector lost an estimated over N1.9billion on Thursday due to insufficient gas supply, distribution and transmission infrastructure.

It said that the electricity sent out by the GenCos was up by 2.6 megawatt from the figure released.

It, however, said that 2,144.50 megawatt could not be generated due to unavailability of gas.

The report said that zero megawatt was also not generated due to unavailability of transmission infrastructure during the period.

Similarly, it said that 1,719 megawatt was not generated due to high frequency resulting from unavailability of distribution infrastructure.

According to the report, zero megawatt was recorded as losses due to water management procedures.

On sector reform and activities, it said that the dominant constraint for Thursday was unavailability of gas.

The report said that the peak generation attained on Thursday was 4,397 megawatt.

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Business

Report: GenCos release 3,857 MWH of electricity to national grid

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Electricity Generation Companies (GenCos), comprising gas-fired and hydro stations, on Friday said they released an average of 3,857 megawatt-hour of electricity into the national grid on Thursday.

This is contained in a daily Energy Report by the Advisory Power Team, Office of the Vice President, and made available in Abuja on Friday.

The report revealed however that the power sector lost an estimated over N1.9billion on Thursday due to insufficient gas supply, distribution and transmission infrastructure.

It said that the electricity sent out by the GenCos was up by 2.6 megawatt from the figure released.

It, however, said that 2,144.50 megawatt could not be generated due to unavailability of gas.

The report said that zero megawatt was also not generated due to unavailability of transmission infrastructure during the period.

Similarly, it said that 1,719 megawatt was not generated due to high frequency resulting from unavailability of distribution infrastructure.

According to the report, zero megawatt was recorded as losses due to water management procedures.

On sector reform and activities, it said that the dominant constraint for Thursday was unavailability of gas.

The report said that the peak generation attained on Thursday was 4,397 megawatt.

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Business

Report: GenCos release 3,857 MWH of electricity to national grid

Published

on

Electricity Generation Companies (GenCos), comprising gas-fired and hydro stations, on Friday said they released an average of 3,857 megawatt-hour of electricity into the national grid on Thursday.

This is contained in a daily Energy Report by the Advisory Power Team, Office of the Vice President, and made available in Abuja on Friday.

The report revealed however that the power sector lost an estimated over N1.9billion on Thursday due to insufficient gas supply, distribution and transmission infrastructure.

It said that the electricity sent out by the GenCos was up by 2.6 megawatt from the figure released.

It, however, said that 2,144.50 megawatt could not be generated due to unavailability of gas.

The report said that zero megawatt was also not generated due to unavailability of transmission infrastructure during the period.

Similarly, it said that 1,719 megawatt was not generated due to high frequency resulting from unavailability of distribution infrastructure.

According to the report, zero megawatt was recorded as losses due to water management procedures.

On sector reform and activities, it said that the dominant constraint for Thursday was unavailability of gas.

The report said that the peak generation attained on Thursday was 4,397 megawatt.

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